Northern Ireland news

John Rice: Former prisoner to become new Sinn Féin councillor

John Rice has been selected to replace Pól Ó Gribín as a Sinn Féin councillor on Newry, Mourne and Down Council

A 57-YEAR-OLD former republican prisoner has been selected to replace Pól Ó Gribín as a Sinn Féin representative on Newry, Mourne and Down Council.

John Rice, from Ballylough Road in Castlewellan, Co Down, is a keen cyclist and former player with St John's GAC.

The grandfather-of-three and father-of-one is a previous chairman of South Down Sinn Féin.

Mr Rice said it was an "honour" to replace Mr Ó Gribín, who will resign from the council at the end of this month.

"I am in no doubt about the challenge ahead and I will build on the solid foundations that have been laid down by Pól who has served the people of Newry, Mourne and Down well," he said.

"This is a brilliant time to be a republican representative and I will do my best to be a voice for the rural communities.

"Working as part of a great Sinn Féin team I will continue to fight for better infrastructure for country areas, improved services for young and old people and will do my best to support farming families."

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